SAN FRANCISCO – A total of 91 firearms made it off the streets of San Francisco during this gun buyback event over the weekend.
Community members of the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco rallied for an end to gun violence due to a gang-related quadruple homicide in January.
“We‘re taking responsibility for our community to say no more,” said London Breed, San Francisco Supervisor of District 5. “No more violence on our street. No more guns in our community. We’re taking our community back, one gun at a time.”
Filipino American former gang member Rudy Corpuz and his anti-violence community team, United Playaz, were among the organizers.
For Corpuz, who lost his nephew ten years ago to gun violence, says he understands how it affects everyone.
“When a bullet flies it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, or peppermint stripe,” said Corpuz. “When it hits, it kills and so we’re trying to stop the destruction and the devastation of anybody getting killed.”
No questions were asked during the weapon buyback. People drove up and the police took the weapon out of their trunk. Corpuz and his team verified the weapon and then receive cash, $100 for hand guns and $200 for assault rifles.
Three medical marijuana dispensaries donated $50,000 to underwrite the buyback.
Community leader and local rapper Richard Bougere or “Big Rich” says he has seen too many kids looking for guns to solve their fights or arguments.
“So just the fact they couldn’t find that gun, that’s a good thing because what are they going to do with that? They are going to shoot the enemy and shoot the person that shot their friend,” said Bougere. “So the fact that they don’t have access, then they can’t do it, because these kids don’t fight anymore.”
Corpuz hopes that this event can inspire other people to work with their local enforcement officers in stopping violence in their communities.
“I know it’s a hard thing to want to turn in guns because some people don’t trust the police, which I understand. But at the same time, you got to take a step and be courageous if you want to stop the violence,” said Corpuz.
According to the police, all weapons were destroyed unless the weapon was stolen. The police return stolen weapons to owners using the serial numbers found on the weapons.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.